Kick The Dog: Western Animation
Or, alternatively, torture
Let's go shoot some animals! That sounds like fun!
- Bugs Bunny and similar Looney Tunes characters usually wait until someone does this to start tormenting them.
- Animaniacs once broke the Fourth Wall, in an episode featuring a nice but overbearing nanny who smothered the Warner Brothers and their Sister Dot. Wakko Warner almost hits her with a "funny" mallet, but then walks away dejected because he can't bring himself to do it. The story cuts to a father watching the episode with his son, and the father explains this very trope.
- In Rugrats, Angelica Pickles plays this trope very well, especially when torturing Tommy and his friends in some episodes.
- Done many times in Ed, Edd n Eddy. In "Your Ed Here", Kevin blackmails Eddy into doing embarrassing things to keep him from revealing Eddy's Embarrassing Middle Name (Skipper), and despite Eddy doing everything Kevin tells him to do, Kevin still tells everybody Eddy's middle name and then laughs in Eddy's face before driving away.
- Spoofed in the episode "Armless But Not Harmless" of The Tick, when the heroes pretend to be villains, up to a point where they are confronted and asked to literally eat some kittens to prove they are evil. They refuse, blowing their cover. If they were smart about it, of course, they could have refused to eat the kitten simply because that would have been disgusting, or gone with being supervillains of the motif who like cats.
- In Family Guy, a Corrupt Corporate Executive almost performs it literally. After saying out loud his evil plans to instigate children to smoke, he pets a dog and, seconds later, throws the dog out of the window and shoots it instead of kicking.
- The first act of the South Park episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die" is one sustained Kick the Dog moment for Scott, particularly when he makes Cartman beg for his money back, then burns the money in front of him, while boasting that his parents give him a huge allowance. Of course, he doesn't exactly get off lightly.
- Cartman himself gets this moments, many times: hitting Token with a rock, trying to kill his mother, and infecting Kyle with HIV.
- When Clyde's mother dies, her last words are to blame him for her death and even comes back as a ghost to tell him it's her fault she's dead.
- In the Great Expectations parody episode, Pip shows Estella a baby bunny and tells her that a heartless person would break its neck. Estella proceeds to break said bunny's neck... and the necks of 26 others. She only stops because she gets bored.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Princess Azula's very first scene and her memorable exchange of dialogue with her Captain served to support what the writers had announced about her before, that unlike her brother, Azula is no sympathetic Anti-Villain but a cold-blooded sociopath.
- She actually first appeared (only, no dialog) during the story of how her brother got his scar. During the crowd reaction shot as daddy burns his son's face, a young girl can be smiling, unlike practically everyone else present aside from Zhao, Zuko's established rival.
- A more classic dog-kicking (more properly, turtle-duck kicking) scene with Azula is a flashback to her as a young girl, throwing rocks at cute innocent little turtle-ducks floating in the palace pond. Given that even as late as the season 3 premiere, the turtle-ducks were shown still fleeing in panic whenever the older Azula walked near the pond, she seems to have done this a lot. In her Beach Episode she destroyed a sandcastle.
- Jet was also subject to a visual◊ kicking the dog (feeble old man) moment in his initial appearance.
- When Mai was introduced, she agreed with Azula to back out of a hostage change for her own baby brother, making herself look like a cruelly Emotionless Girl who doesn't care about anything except obeying Azula because that's what she wants her to think.
- In The Legend of Korra Vaatu drives Wan's spirit friends into a murderous rage and makes them attack Wan's human friends. Wan fails to stop them, and when he wakes up and attempts to help any survivors Vaatu pours salt in the wound by appearing and saying, "Oh, don't bother. They've all been killed"
- Lin Beifong gets a few in the Season 3 episode "The Metal Clan". First, she pops Naga's ball shortly after the Krew decided to head to Zaofu against her wishes. Then she angrily dismisses her niece Opal (who's trying to be friendly in order to mend the rift between Lin and her half-sister Suyin), telling the girl that she wants nothing to do with her. This ends up driving Opal to tears and draws Korra's anger.
- Played straight with Pizzazz of the Misfits kicking a cat in the first version of "Take a Hike, Jack!" in the Jem episode "Old Meets New".
- Eric Raymond kicks the dog on a regular basis, from actually slapping Jerrica in the face to destroying the only known recordings of Jacqui Benton's (Jerrica and Kimber's mother) singing career.
- In How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch's dog, Max, suffers many indignities at the Grinch's hand.
- In The Simpsons episode "Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment", the detective Rex Banner has a kick the dog moment of sorts; he decides that before using a catapult to fire Homer out of town for breaking the law, he's going to test it on a harmless cat. This is probably to set it up so that you don't feel very sorry for Homer when he gets launched from the catapult a minute later.
- In the Treehouse of Horror episode where the giant ads all come to life, Marge convinces Homer to return the giant doughnut to the Lard Lad in order to end the destruction. Lard Lad gets back his doughnut, smiles at it contently, and then KICKS THEIR DOG IN THE NEXT STATE and walks away down the street smashing the roofs of every house with his giant doughnut along the way.
- Springfield's own resident evil, Monty Burns, literally punts the dog in "Last Exit to Springfield".
- Not to mention he shuts down power to all of Springfield to try to force the striking power plant workers back to work in the same episode.
- Or earlier in the episode, he laughs at a window washer hanging from a rope.
- Burns has a LOT of these moments. He comes awfully close to literal in "Dog Of Death" when he has Bart's innocent, gentle pet dog strapped to a chair, and Forced to Watch several clips of animal abuse to turn him into an Angry Guard Dog.
- Later in the same episode, when Smithers says to Burns, "A sweet little boy is here to see you," Burns says, "Release the hounds." Said little boy is actually Bart.
- Burns also sends a vicious Angry Guard Dog after Bart (who was hungry after running away from home) for trying to steal a pie which was left on the window sill. Burns would have otherwise disposed of that pie anyway.
- There is also "22 Short Films About Springfield", when Burns and his most loyal assistant, Smithers, who has a life-threatening allergy to bee venom, are on a bicycle, Smithers gets stung by a bee, and Burns just yells at him to keep paddling and dishes out a barrage of vicious insults. Apparently, dialing 911 was out of the question.
- "Homer vs. Dignity" is a full episode of Burns doing metaphorical dog-kicking. Desperate for money, Homer asks Burns for a raise, and Burns instead decides that it's only under the condition that Homer be Burns' personal "prank monkey." These pranks involve putting Homer into a series of increasingly humiliating circumstances, and culminates in Burns dressing Homer in a panda suit and having another panda rape him. Eventually Homer gets fed up with this and quits, using the money he already had to set up a parade to distribute toys to needy kids; Burns shows up to try to bribe Homer into throwing fish guts instead of presents; Homer is shown contemplating to it, and then it cuts to fish guts being thrown at the kids; but it is revealed that Burns is the one throwing it after all.
- "Curse of the Flying Hellfish" reveals him and Abe to be the last surviving members of their WWII unit, and that a deal was made such that the last surviving member would get to keep a case of art stolen from civilians; Burns hires an assassin to kill Abe, but said assassin is not successful at it. Bart convinces Abe to go get the case anyway, and when Abe and Bart retrieve it, Burns shows up and takes the art at gunpoint. Bart calls Burns a coward, then Burns points the gun at his face; Abe says Burns can take the art as long as he does not hurt the boy. Burns remarks that he would rather do both, then kicks Bart into the empty case and kicks the case into the water. Note that he could have taken the art without drowning the child, he just tried to drown the child anyway, for no apparent reason other than that said child insulted him.
- He once developed a project to block sunlight from reaching Springfield, to deprive them of one more alternative source of heat and light. His usually unquestioning assistant Smithers STRONGLY objected to this, and was fired as a result. A town hall meeting was held about this, and Burns showed up just when the whole town was being shown what Burns' oil drilling operation did to Bart's pet dog, who was seen using wheels just to walk down the hallway.
- Homer has a few of these, too.
Marge: (suffering from amnesia) You strangle your own child?
Homer: Yeah, but he's cool with it... (looks at Bart shaking his fist) Right?
Bart: (wheezing) It hurts when I swallow...
Homer: Why you little.. (resumes strangling Bart)
- Also, in the first clip show, Homer lands in a coma after Bart pulls a prank on him due to Homer playing pranks on him all that day (Bart hadn't expected him to wind up in a coma). Thinking Homer may die, Bart sadly confesses to the prank. Homer then procedures to wake up....and begin strangling Bart in revenge for the prank.
- Not to mention that before that, Homer's pranks on Bart were pretty mean-spirited. He put duct tape on Bart's eyes (duct tape is the strongest tape available, and the eyelids are the thinnest layer of skin on the body), and he tricked Bart into drinking milk that was sitting next to the furnace for six weeks (so it was so curdled, it might as well have been poisoned). It's a good thing it only happened in a TV show; there's a difference between an April Fool's Day joke and attempted murder.
- In the infamous "The Boys Of Bummer", Bart costs Springfield the Little League Championship and the crowd boos at him. He runs out of the stadium and asks Chief Wiggum for safety. So what does Wiggum do? He drives Bart back into the stadium where the angry spectators throw food and beer cans at him. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
- Porter C. Powell of Transformers Animated at the start of season two. Sari's father is missing in action. What does he do? Steals his company, kicks Sari out of her home with nothing but the clothes on her back and informs the poor girl that there's no papers to prove she even exists. Particularly jarring since Sari was the first human sidekick that the audience actually liked.
- Mina and The Count, a cult favorite from The What A Cartoon Show on Cartoon Network, had the count carelessly smacking a screeching cat away within the first minute of his introduction. Fortunately, he gets his comeuppance in the most hilarious way.
- An episode of Batman: The Animated Series, "A Bullet for Bullock", is a Day in the Limelight for Harvey Bullock that consists largely of Bullock kicking every metaphorical dog he sees. Before this episode he seemed like a sour cop who bent the rules a little too much (although he prided himself on never taking a bribe), but he established himself as an absolutely unsympathetic Good Is Not Nice dick when Summer Gleeson, the Gotham news reporter and anchor, offered to help him if he waited a few minutes, and he rummaged through her office instead of waiting. Heck, Bullock's treatment of Nivens, his landlord, is what prompts the landlord to try to kill him in return.
- In Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, The Joker literally kicks an adorable (robotic) dog.
- Another literal example appears in The Mask episode "Sister Mask," when Pretorius had control of the Mask, and made the Mask kick Milo. Stanley wasn't happy about that, and when he got his revenge, he turned the Sister Mask on Pretorius, made him become a soccer ball and then made him kick around his robot body and his own henchmen. He even nearly calls out this trope word-for-word:
Stanley: And that's for making me kick my dog!
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Usually the crap Shake pulls is funny, but he crosses the line when he takes Meatwad's adorable pet kitten and fries it in a microwave. Fortunately all the animals he abused come back from the dead and try to ram him into the microwave.
- In Teen Titans, Starfire's sister Blackfire tries to frame her for a crime and steal her boyfriend.
- Two seasons later, Blackfire tries to force Starfire into marriage so she'll have to leave their home planet, giving Blackfire a clear shot at the throne.
- Slade injects the Titans with nanobots to blackmail Robin into being his apprentice.
- Control Freak steals James Bond's gadgets, then pushes him off the Eiffel Tower.
- In the Gargoyles four-parter "City of Stone", Gruach is forced into an arranged marriage with Gillecomgain, the murderous Hunter. At one point, Gillecomgain takes a flower and looks at her somewhat wistfully, but then crushes it. Greg Weisman said they were worried we might start to feel sympathy for Gillecomgain being stuck in a loveless marriage, so the flower-crushing was a somewhat manipulative signal that it was okay to hate him. Later, he holds a knife to Gruach- taking his own wife hostage- to threaten Macbeth. All this made it easy to cheer when he fell to his death shortly thereafter (also a case of Karmic Death, as he'd earlier killed Macbeth's father by throwing him off the same castle wall).
- In Winx Club, the Trix do this on a daily basis. Some of their moments are: trying to murder Bloom's parents, crippling Galatea by destroying her wings (Icy), turning Mirta into a pumpkin (Icy again), threatening to kill Musa's father (Stormy)...basically, most of their heinous acts either border on or are attempted murder. Counting all their acts of needless cruelty would make one hell of a drinking game.
- On Chimera first appearances she tries taking Stella's pizza from her, and again she takes the dress Stella was about to buy.
- In the Futurama movie The Beast With a Billion Backs, the Robot Devil makes a deal with Bender on the condition that he takes Bender's first-born son. Bender leaves, finds his son, brings him to Robot Hell, and swiftly kicks him into a magma crater. This appalls even the Robot Devil.
Robot Devil: Wow! That was pretty brutal even by MY standards.
- Don't forget the much more literal Robo-Puppy Mistreatment Alert!
- And in a similar vein, the cold open of an episode has the Professor announce that he's taught the toaster to feel love. Said toaster runs up to Bender and starts licking him like a dog, for which it gets backhanded across the room.
- In Clone High, Principal Scudworth frequently kicks the dog. He frequently conducts terrible experiments on (and kills) students. In the final episode, he rigs the prom so he can be prom king (to console himself from having lost the title in his own prom to John Stamos). John Stamos shows up and is awarded the title, but then sympathetically offers the crown to Scudworth. Scudworth then takes the crown, stabs Stamos in the eye with it, and then proceeds to wear it and take the title.
- His villainy is overshadowed by his rival principal in "A Shot in D'Arc". They discuss how after last year's basketball game, the rival principal won Scudworth's first-born son, Brian. After discussing the terms of this year's wager (all the while the rival principal's eating a meal), Scudworth asks, "By the way, how is Brian?", to which the rival replies (slurping up some food), "Dee-licious."
- Used In-Universe in a Daria episode when Daria assures Quinn she shouldn't be scared of the town's "mass murderers, serial killers, torturers, cannibals... puppy kickers."
- Heloise and Lucius on Jimmy Two-Shoes do this pretty much on a full-time basis. Heloise has built prisons that offer the prisoners chances to escape, only to cruelly dash their hopes. Lucius, meanwhile, often forces Samy to do humiliating things for his amusement.
- In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The Cent of Money", when Gary swallowed a kitchen magnet and could attract coins, Krabs dragged him around town, continuously injuring Gary with the bombardment of magnetically attracted coins, all the while stealing from people. Finally, when we saw how injured Gary had became, Krabs didn't care and said he looked fine and went to attract a wave of coins before SpongeBob arrived. This is actually considered a candidate for a Moral Event Horizon on Krabs' part.
- Krabs also kicked the worm when he sold Squidward to repomen in "Le Big Switch".
- Let's not forget the episode "One Coarse Meal". The plot involves Krabs putting on a whale costume in order to scare away Plankton. This seems tame at first, until the paranoia eventually causes Plankton to attempt suicide. When SpongeBob tells Krabs about this, Krabs LAUGHS. Keep in mind that Plankton is his former BEST FRIEND.
- Squidward in "Fools in April," in which he made Spongebob cry during a cruel, painful prank, and "Home Sweet Pineapple," in which he gleefully dances/cheers when Spongebob is moving away (something that lil Spongie is distraught about.) There's also "Christmas Who?" in which Squidward taunts Spongebob when Santa doesn't show up, laughs at him, and even shakes his butt triumphantly in his direction- while Spongebob is crying. In addition, "Naughty Nautical Neighbors," when Squidward intentionally ruins Spongebob and Patrick's friendship for no good reason.
- The mean customer in "Pizza Delivery" who yelled at Spongebob so harshly that poor Spongie cried, something that even engendered sympathy, and rage, in Squidward.
- In Total Drama World Tour, most of Alejandro's actions against other competitors are purely to get ahead in the game. Except for how he eliminated DJ, throughout the episode of his elimination he helped DJ get over his curse just to reveal that he faked the curse removal and DJ is still cursed by animals which causes him to lose the challenge. Considering that said competitor was a Death Seeker of sorts and likely would have eliminated himself soon, this seems to serve no purpose.
- In the Jonah Hex portion of DC Showcase, Red (Jonah's current bounty-waiting-to-be-collected) rides into town drunk and shoots a dog who bothers him. In the literal sense, not the figurative.
- In Around the World with Willy Fog, the villain Transfer is hired by Sullivan to impede Fog's progress and prevent him from completing his trip around the world. At one point, he disguises himself as Detective Dix and slips Rigodón a mickey to prevent him from informing Fog of a change in the departure time of the steamship he's supposed to take. But then when Rigodón and Tico end up aboard the steamship without Fog, he disguises himself as the first mate, accuses them of being stowaways, and spends the passage cruelly working them to the bone. As far as Transfer knows, he's already accomplished his mission of stopping Fog at this point. He's not getting paid to make Rigodón and Tico's lives miserable—he's just a jerk.
- In Season 3 of The Boondocks, 8-year-old sociopath Lamilton Taeshawn shoots a dog, hammering in how little he cares for anything or anyone.
- In the season 1 finale of Blinky Bill (The wedding picnic episode), Marcia bites Shifty Dingo.
- The Popeye cartoon "Protek the Weakerist" and its color remake, "Barking Dogs Don't Fite", have the central action of Popeye having to walk Olive's cute little dog, only to run into Bluto and his massive bulldog who promptly chases him all around with every intention of mauling him with Bluto's approval. The plight of that little dog being victimized by that beast is so hard to see (while Popeye's not doing much better against Bluto) that it' s soooooo satisfying to see Popeye and his dog share a can of spinach and give the bullies what for.
- Gorillaz bassist and self-proclaimed mastermind Murdoc kidnapped their singer 2D to record the Plastic Beach album. That was cruel, vaguely disturbing and allover thoroughly unpleasant, but at least purposeful. However, in addition to assaulting and incarcerating him on the desert island, Murdoc also put 2D in an submarine basement complete with a huge porthole overlooking the open sea. Thing is, 2D has a pathological fear of whales, and now a gets wonderful view of them twenty-four seven. There was no real reason for doing this, other than to psychologically torture the poor guy, so the whole ordeal falls straight into Kick the Dog territory.
- The reason for the whale was so that 2D didn't escape (Murdoc was somehow paying it to watch him, apparently); the real Kick the Dog comes from his fights with Murdoc, and he's even shown looking suitably bruised up here◊. Phase 3 has made many fans want to give him a massive hug.
- Robot Chicken's parody of Grand Theft Auto advertises one of its features as "kick a puppy."
- Discord from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has a lot of these. In fact, everything he puts the Mane Cast through is simply for his own amusement, as he's a Reality Warper who could win with ease but just thinks making ponies suffer is fun.
- In an earlier episode, Fluttershy bumps into Gilda the Griffon while leading a family of ducks across the marketplace. Gilda flips out, mocking Fluttershy's apology and driving her to tears. That is just not on, you bitch. "This calls for extreme measures... PINKIE PIE STYLE!"
- Though what's sad is that if the episode "Putting Your Hoof Down" is any indication, Fluttershy gets almost as much crap from her neighbors on a regular basis.
- Prince Blueblood spends the whole gala from meeting Rarity until the Disaster Dominoes turning the traditional courtesies on their heads.
- In "Ponyville Confidential", Diamond Tiara makes the CMCs write increasingly scurrilous gossip articles, and then when they try to back out, blackmails them. Then, when she finds that they've pulled a long-overdue fast one, she shoves Dinky Hooves aside and snatches her paper.
- In "A Canterlot Wedding", the two-parter episode itself involves Princess Cadence, being a Bridezilla as she was, kicking every metaphorical dog she came across. She established herself as a Spoiled Brat, starting from not recognizing the Sunshine chant that Twilight says to her. She later on goes from throwing a paper bag of apple fritters that Applejack gave to her into the trash can, and casting a green glowing spell on Shining Armor, the soon-to-be husband who is about to be married to her, to suddenly replacing her bridesmaids with Twilight's friends. As it eventually turns out, it was Queen Chrysalis in disguise. She finally cross the Moral Event Horizon after pretending to forgive Twilight for calling her evil, and then trapping her in the caves underneath Canterlot. All just so for the safe execution of the Changelings' invasion and absorbing the love from Shining Armor.
- In a preview of a Season 4 episode, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are mocking Scootaloo's inability to fly.
- Mane-Iac in Power Ponies, amidst her plan to destroy the entire town, decides to swat a firefly. Of course Fluttershy sees it and gets absolutely pissed, lays a "The Reason You Suck" Speech on her, and Hulks out. Cue Oh, Crap from Mane-Iac followed by a No Holds Barred Beat Down.
- Remington Smisse from Wakfu often betrays his allies (especially Evangelyne), even when doing this inconveniences him.
- Benson in the Regular Show episode "Replaced". He plans on firing Mordecai and Rigby and replacing them. However, when he did it, he took their pictures just to look at their faces.
- If that weren't bad enough, the episode prior, "The Best Burger in the World", instead of punishing the two with his usual way (making them clean the mess up and threatens to fire them if they don't), he steals their burgers and eats them. If this doesn't sound bad, keep in mind that these were actually the best burgers in the world, made only once every one hundred years.
- Margaret does this to Mordecai at the end of "Do or Diaper".
- At one point in the HBO Animated Adaptation of Spawn, we see Jason Wynn, Spawn's former boss when he was human, talking to someone on the phone whilst holding a puppy. Casually, not even stopping his conversation, he walks over to a fish tank and drops the puppy in... said tank is full of piranha, who start ripping the puppy apart. There's no reason why he had to do this. He just does it because he can.
- Tom and Jerry, being arch-enemies, are liable to take literally any possible opportunity to do this to each other simply to be a dick to their rival. For example, in one episode, when Spike is prevented from protecting Jerry due to a leash law, Tom gleefully takes time out from chasing Jerry to torment Spike while staying just out of leash range. By the end of the short, the leash law has been lifted, and Spike wastes no time in getting payback.
- Steven Universe has a zigzagging example in the episode "Monster Buddies", in which the seemingly tamed Centipeetle goes into a panic upon see Garnet brandishing her gauntlets and begins defensively spraying acid erratically. The Gems, who didn't trust the creature's reformation to begin with, start attacking it to protect Steven, with Garnet at one point literally kicking it across the room. Thankfully, Steven does end up convincing both the Centipeetle and the Gems to stop fighting, and the monster ends up redeeming itself through a (technically temporary) Heroic Sacrifice